epublicans took over the governors' mansions in several key states in 2010, but recent polls suggest that many voters are already fed up with their slash-and-burn, budget-cutting ways. First, the poll numbers of governors John Kasich of Ohio and Scott Walker of Wisconsin dropped sharply. Now Gov. Rick Scott, in the crucial swing state of Florida, is finding that "the honeymoon is over," with his approval rating sinking to 33 percent just three months into his term, according to Public Policy Polling. Does this signal big trouble for the GOP in the 2012 elections? (Watch an MSNBC report about the poll results.)
This could spell doom for Republicans: "The rejection of these governors' austerity packages" could cost the GOP big in 2012, says Dave Weigel at Slate, and not just in their home states. It could cripple the party's presidential ticket, because "it's hard to win without Ohio and Florida." But Republicans still might dodge this bullet: Anger over the budget cuts could subside before election day — if the economy improves.
"Poll: Rick Scott joins the ranks of the new Republican governors who've torqued everybody off"
Don't believe the liberal propaganda: Calling these polls a sign of looming disaster for the GOP is pure "political spin," says Sam Foster at Left Coast Rebel. Public Policy Polling is linked to Democrats, and its polling sample in Florida skews hard to the left, giving Democrat Alex Sink a seven-point advantage, even though Scott just beat her in November. In this poll, "the big population driving up Scott's negatives" is people who didn't vote in 2010, and probably won't show up in 2012, either.
"According to Public Policy Polling, people who didn't vote or remember if they voted don't approve of Florida Gov. Scott"
Denying the problem won't help the GOP: If the Florida poll leaned Democratic, says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly, why did the respondents give rave reviews to newly-elected Sen. Marco Rubio, a Tea Party favorite? Scott is clearly part of the "new crop of far-right Republican governors" who are "quickly annoying their own constituents" in big swing states. Democrats lost in 2010 because voters were sick of the status quo; now voters are getting a whole lot of reminders of "why they didn't like Republicans in the first place."
"Rick Scott's support collapses in Florida"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why are so many elderly Asians killing themselves?
- Why ABC threw its Bachelor under the bus
- Why I'm sick and tired of seeing naked women on HBO
- Driverless cars may be an environmental disaster
- Repealing ObamaCare would now mean kicking 4.2 million people off their new insurance plans
- Why Ted Cruz is the real-life Frank Underwood
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here's proof that Justin Bieber is just as spoiled as you always thought
Subscribe to the Week